It’s the Family, Stupid!

The beginning of this week’s radio commentary. Read the rest here.

During the 1992 presidential election, James Carville, Clinton’s campaign strategist, hung a sign in the Little Rock campaign headquarters with the phrase, “The economy, stupid.” You know how that story ended.

The economy is at the forefront of just about everyone’s mind right now because we’re all affected by this downturn. While Carville’s slogan certainly appears, at first glance, to be quite accurate and relevant to today, it’s depicting a symptom, not the cause. I submit to you that at the root of the economic crisis, and virtually every crisis we face in society today—it’s the family!

Last weekend Michael Steele, chairman of the RNC, spoke at the Wisconsin GOP convention in La Crosse. In line with his message of late, Steele welcomed moderates to the Republican table but asked them not to try to “change” anything about the party, just join it. A conflicting message reflecting, I think, a major schism in the Republican Party. If you listen to Steele, you’d think the Republican Party is only about limiting taxes and spending—something that the Republican-controlled Congress must have forgotten during their 12 years in charge.

The truth is, from the GOP’s very inception the party was largely concerned with social issues—particularly ending slavery. One of the earliest GOP platforms (1860) had 16 platform points, 6 pertained to slavery and only 2 expressly mentioned taxes and government spending. A far cry from the GOP of today, as a New York Times article from April 28 indicates; national Republican leadership wants to jettison hot-topic buttons such as “same-sex marriage” from the GOP in hopes of gaining moderate votes. That’s in keeping with Michael Steele’s comments the day after the November election, in which he said the Republican Party has to become a “big tent”—meaning, all inclusive—party.



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